Local MP Dr Cam Calder has welcomed news that the number of children participating in early childhood education is continuing to increase.
Data from 2012 shows in Manurewa 85% per cent of children who started school during 2012 had participated in early childhood education (ECE).
“We know from research that ECE is vital to a child’s development, and their future ability to learn,” Dr Calder said.
“That’s why National has set a target that in 2016, 98 per cent of children starting school will have participated in quality early childhood education.
“We want all children to get the best possible start to their education, and early childhood education helps children become confident, ready to engage, and eager to learn.
“We are investing $1.4 billion in ECE, which includes 20 hours ECE funding for all families. In the last Budget we invested an additional $48 million in equity funding which supports priority learners, vulnerable children, and communities who would otherwise find it more difficult to access ECE.
“New Zealand’s annual expenditure per child in ECE is the second-highest in the OECD and this Government is committed to continuing that investment in our future,” Dr Calder said.
The investment is paying off with provisional figures for the first three months of this year showing a further increase in ECE participation rates, particularly for Māori and Pacific Island children, up 1.4 per cent and nearly 2 per cent respectively since this time last year.
The provisional data for the first quarter of 2013 shows about 95.5 per cent of all children starting school had participated in early childhood education. That’s up from 94.7 per cent at the same time last year.
“Making sure every child gets a good education is the most important thing our Government can do to raise living standards, and create a more competitive and productive economy.’’